Steps to Pay Florida Filing Fees
- Pay your Florida business’s initial filing fees
- Reserve your Florida business’s name
- Reserve a “doing business as” name in Florida
- Obtain an Employer Identification Number
- Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Florida business
- Apply for your Florida business’s necessary licenses and permits
- Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses
- Check Florida’s annual report requirements & fees
- Keep your Florida business legally compliant
As a business owner, you’re probably familiar with Florida business filing fees. You’ll commonly encounter both one-time Florida formation fees and ongoing government fees when you set up your business. We’ve compiled the most common fees that you might encounter.
Step 1: Pay your Florida business’s initial filing fees
Businesses are usually charged one-time fees to officially form a statutory business entity, such as a limited liability company (LLC) for a corporation. To form a new statutory entity, the current Florida filing fees by business type (including the formation and registered agent fees) can be found at the Florida Department of State website. Here is a rundown of which documents will require a fee:
- Forming an LLC
- Forming a corporation
- Registering a general partnership
- Registering a limited partnership
Filing times for all types of business entities typically take around 15 business days if filing by U.S. Mail. If you are filing online through Florida’s SunBiz eFile portal, filing times can be considerably faster. Often, documents filed online can be processed in as few as five business days. However, Florida doesn’t offer expedited filing.
We can help get your Florida business on track with our expedited filing service. We’ve helped many Florida business owners understand the Florida filing fees necessary to register their businesses.
Step 2: Reserve your Florida business’s name
Florida allows you to send a letter to the Secretary of State and reserve a business name for 120 days. There is a small fee for this reservation. We can also help with our name reservation service, which does this for you.
Step 3: Reserve a “doing business as” name in Florida
A “doing business as” (DBA) name or a “fictitious name” can be used when a company is operating under a name that’s not its legal name. DBAs generally aren’t required unless you’re operating your business under a name other than your legal name or the business’s registered name. Florida charges a fee to reserve your fictitious name, and it must be renewed every five years.
Step 4: Obtain an Employer Identification Number
An EIN is issued by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS). An EIN allows a Florida business to pay taxes, open bank accounts, and conduct almost all business. It is similar to a social security number for your business. The EIN is free to obtain online, but we have an EIN service that can do it for you and spare you the hassle of dealing with the IRS.
Step 5: Draft an operating agreement, corporate bylaws, or partnership agreement for your Florida business
These documents set the rules for how your business is run, such as membership/ownership rights, liability sharing, conflict resolution, and more. LLCs are not required to have an operating agreement in Florida, but corporations are legally required to have bylaws. Even if they are not required, operating agreements are still very important documents. You can write your own for free, which is generally not advisable. You can hire a lawyer to draft documents for you, which can be expensive. Or you can use a template like ours, which allows you to customize an operating agreement to your business’s needs.
Step 6: Apply for your Florida business’s necessary licenses and permits
Most businesses will need licenses or permits of some sort to operate. Florida requires a general business license (called a “business tax receipt”) if you provide goods or services to the public. A Florida business can also need federal, state, and local licenses. Researching each possible license can be challenging. Check out our Business License Report to see how our partners can help you find what licensing you need to get started.
Step 7: Pay registration fees for out-of-state businesses
A foreign corporation or LLC simply means a business registered in another state. The Florida filing fees for registering your foreign LLC or corporation in Florida are the same as registering a domestic LLC or corporation.
- You must register a foreign LLC to do business in Florida, and pay a filing fee
- You must register a foreign corporation to do business in Florida, and pay a filing fee
- You do not need to register partnerships or sole proprietorships formed out-of-state
Most states will also require you to get a “Certificate of Good Standing” (in Florida, this is known as a Certificate of Status) from your state of origin before doing business in that state. Obtaining a Florida Certificate of Status requires a small fee and can be ordered through the Secretary of State’s SunBiz eFile portal.
Step 8: Check Florida’s annual report requirements & fees
Florida requires for-profit corporations, general partnerships, LLCs, limited liability partnerships, and limited partnerships to file an annual report. There are filing fees for each type of business entity that must be paid when you file that report. The amount varies depending on the business type.
We also have a terrific annual report service to help you navigate the annual report process. Contact us today to see how we can help streamline your reporting process.
Step 9: Keep your Florida business legally compliant
To make certain changes to your business, you may need to file paperwork with the State of Florida. In Florida, these changes include:
- Changing registered agent
- Making material changes to your ownership structure
- Changing certain material facts in your Articles of Organization or Articles of Incorporation
- Changing the business name
- Making certain other changes to public information
In Florida, fees attach when you file documents to make these changes. The fee amounts vary depending on the business type.
We also offer an amendment service to help you stay on top of your amendment obligations. Amendment filing is also part of our Worry-Free Compliance service, which includes two amendments every year (you only pay the filing fee, we do all the work) as well as many other compliance tools and services.
Count on us to help your Florida business grow and thrive
No matter where you are in the business formation process, we’ve got the tools to help you succeed. On top of all the services mentioned above, we can help you avoid costly mistakes and fines with services like our Worry-Free Compliance service. Let us help you stay on top of all your filings and fees so you can stay focused on your business.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information purposes only, and does not constitute legal, tax, or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek the counsel of a licensed professional.
- Are there penalties for paying my fees late in Florida?
It depends. Some filing fees may come with late fees. Late payments may result in suspension or revocation of a license or permit. Make sure to check with the appropriate regulatory entity if you have an overdue payment.
- What happens if I can’t pay my fees to the Florida government?
Contact the State of Florida, as there may be some small business owner assistance programs available, depending on what the fee applies to.
- Who receives the fees for forming my Florida business?
The fees are paid to the Florida Secretary of State.
- What is usually the biggest fee I will pay when I form my Florida business?
The size of your fees will depend on the nature and form of your business. Our Business License Service can help you understand what the size of your fee obligations might be.
- What payment methods can I use to pay my LLC or corporation filing fees to the Florida government?
Typically, the Florida government accepts cash, checks, money orders, and credit cards. However, it’s very important to check with the agency that you’re paying the fees to.